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Singh Woos Voters With Farmer Friendly Land-for-Industry Law

India passed a key bill that assures improved terms for farmers when companies acquire their land for factories and mines, seeking to curb deadly clashes as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attempts to woo poor voters.

Changes to a century-old law will allow farmers to get at least double the value of their land as compensation, while aiming to help revive stalled projects. Private businesses will also need to win the approval of at least 80 percent of landholders before seeking state intervention to evict the remaining residents. The law, passed by the lower house of parliament late last night, requires a social impact study and provides rules for property valuation.